Toilets without walls - 'DA is racist'

By Time of article published Jan 22, 2010

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Toilets were built without walls in Khayelitsha, Cape Town following a 2007 agreement with the community, chairman of the local council Stuart Pringle said on Friday.

"My biggest gripe is it's never been raised with me by the ward councillor, who I work with often and who was the ward councillor when the agreement was made.

"To me it's an attempt to make political mileage," he said of criticism the DA was racist.

Pringle, the chairman of sub-council 10 which includes Khayelitsha, said according to the 2007 agreement the government would install the toilets and residents would erect the surrounding structures.

The council at first told residents they would erect communal toilets for the area. Residents, however, preferred to have individual toilets. A compromise was struck and the council agreed to build the toilets while residents said they would have the surrounding structures erected.

Since then the council built 1 316 toilets and the residents covered 1 265 of them. Pringle said the balance of 51 remain opened and were at the centre of the current furore.

Residents were reportedly forced to cover themselves with blankets when using the open facilities in Khayelitsha's Makhaza section.

The Pan Africanist Movement on Friday called on Western Cape premier Helen Zille to publicly apologise to Khayelitsha residents.

"We don't accept that the city has no funds to build proper toilets for our people, as we know that Cape Town has got the best suburbs in the country, comparable to the best in the world," Pam secretary-general Clarence Mayekiso said in a statement.

The movement said it was "horrified" by the "naked racism" shown by Cape Town's Democratic Alliance-led government.

The ANC Youth League, with the support of the ANC, has lodged a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission.

In a letter to SAHRC chairman Lawrence Mushwana, the league described the matter as "tantamount to crimes against humanity".

"Our plea to the is to compel the city council to build toilet walls to ensure the rights, dignity, privacy and freedom of residents of Ward 95 are protected, to charge the council with violations of human rights and to take it to task for disregarding the constitution and the Bill of Rights," ANCYL deputy chairman in the Dullah Omar region, Chumile Sali said.

The ANC on Thursday accused the DA of having no regard for blacks and of being "racial in its outlook". - Sapa

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